All my friends have become TV stars

December 09, 2021

I was sitting at the computer the other day doing what I usually do (acting busy so She-Who-Must-Not-Be-Made-Mad wouldn’t find a honey-do project for me), when all of a sudden I received an e-mail from an old friend in Alaska.

To say the least, I was surprised that Chip had emailed me. Not because his message came via e-mail, but rather than he could write an email. You see, Chip is the ultimate man’s man. He wakes up in the morning dreaming of ways to go hunting, fishing or repairing something that has broken. He’s quite opposite of me, you see. I am a crappy hunter, worse fisherman and can’t fix a darn thing. The fact that I am neither a hunter, gatherer or fixer is a big issue in our house. Assuming the world ever plunges into some version of all-out disaster in which people have to hunt, fish or fix things themselves, I have already been assured by SWMNBMM that she will drop me like a hot potato and find someone who can catch food.

I can’t say I blame her ... starving doesn’t sound like that much fun. In fact, I reckon we tried that when we were younger. I can assure you, finding a hunter/gatherer is a much better option.

Anyway, as I was sitting there thinking about buying a lifetime supply of Ramen noodles and a volleyball that I could turn into my very own version of “Wilson,” I opened the e-mail from Chip and almost fell out of my chair. Chip and his family, it seems, have gone Hollywood on me. He and his family are on a reality-based television series based on my adopted home state of Alaska.

This was a disturbing piece of news for me. First, Chip (whose real name is Edward) is a television star, and secondly, Chip knows how to hunt, get food and fix anything short of a B-57. I don’t mind telling you, I’m incredibly jealous. I want to be a TV star. I’m almost tall, muscled and drive a car that appeals to middle-aged men with children. Just because Chip can hunt and fish when it is minus-40 outside doesn’t mean he is cooler than me. Well, on second thought, maybe it does. It makes him a whole lot “cooler” than me.

My time is coming, though, even if my family doesn’t think so.

I know, everyone is wanting to know about Chip’s show. In a nutshell, the show (called Life Below Zero) is a Emmy Award-winning National Geographic series. It features several families who live in the rural parts of the Arctic, and shows how they survive. In the show, you’ll get to meet Chip (one of the most colorful characters in Alaska), his wife, Agnes (who is an amazing artist and gun collector), and their seven children in Noorvik.

For those of you who aren’t familiar with Noorvik, it is a small village of about 600 people on the banks of the Kobuk River about an hour from Kotzebue. For those of you who aren’t familiar with Kotzebue, it is north of the Seward Peninsula on the western coast.

For those who are familiar ... oh heck, man, go look it up on Google!

For those who (like me) that believe reality shows are fake, this could be a pleasant surprise. Chip is anything but a “scripted” guy. He’s like an Alaska version of Jed Clampett - only with a few F-bombs stuck in.

But, I like him. He’s a rather amazing guy.

Tommy Wells is the editor of The McGregor Mirror. Everything in this column is true, except for the parts that are fabricated, made up, or are just plain lies.